Recent writing on zone system?

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by starrykitten, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. starrykitten

    starrykitten Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hi all--

    I'm new here and not a photographer. I am, however, doing some writing involving the Zone System. I've read on its origins and basics, but I was hoping to find some new material about it, recent opinions, etc. If someone can point me to good reading material on the Zone System, that'd be great.

  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Dec 14, 2005
    Basin and Range Province
    8x10 Format
    One of the noted extrapolations of the Zone System is BZTS (Beyond the Zone System) It was concepted by Phil Davis, who wrote a book on it about twenty five years ago. Although Mr. Davis has passed away, it is still a current system used by many. More info is available here:

    The Zone System is touched on in may texts, old and new, but as a sensitometry method for B&W practice, it has never been immutable, however, almost all B&W photographers generally practice a personalized "Zone System" no matter if they call it that, or even recognize that they do.

    Attempts have been made to "translate" the Zone System for d*g*t*l imagers, but since the two media behave in very different ways, it usually amounts to just hanging Zone System terms on basic sensitometry, or other types of mimicry, and has little to do with the St Ansel's system.
  3. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Mar 30, 2005
    ULarge Format
    Johnson just came out with the fourth edition of his book, "The Practical Zone System." It is a good introduction to the system and goes into quite a bit of detail, with many examples to follow. It also has a section on using the ZS with digital, albeit, I skipped it when reading the text.

    I prefer the third edition for its more complete review of the ZS, if you can find one.